Social Cognitive Development (C8045)

15 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

This module considers aspects of development that reflect the social nature of humans. The module covers three broad areas: social cognition (eg normal development of theory of mind and its apparent absence in autism), self-reflection (eg the growth of self-consciousness and shyness) and self-regulation and agency (eg development of emotion regulation, cross-cultural and historical concepts of the person). The underlying theme is the role of cognitive development and social context in children's developing understanding of themselves and others.

The module is structured to enable participants to study a chosen topic in depth, while also viewing it from the theoretical contexts of the other topics addressed. This module builds on knowledge gained in the core psychology module C8546: Developmental Psychology. Students who are not enrolled on the BSc Psychology course at Sussex are expected to have knowledge of developmental theory and of social, cognitive, and language development at Year 2 level. Helpful overviews of these topics can be found in many textbooks on child development.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 27 hours of contact time and about 123 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: